UNECE welcomes the approval by the Cabinet of the Ministers of Ukraine of the procedure for maintaining a National Pollutant Release and Transfer Register. The Register, to be operational from 8 October 2023, is expected to facilitate the free provision of information on pollution, such as greenhouse gas emissions, to the public and support transparency in emissions reporting by businesses.
This information will be made publicly accessible online on the EcoSystem web portal.
“The public will have free access to information about any enterprise whose activities have an impact on the environment. In this way, Ukraine will fulfil an important part of its international obligations under the Aarhus Convention and the Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers. And this is an important step on our country’s way to the EU,” said Ruslan Strilets, Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine.
According to the government of Ukraine, the national pollutant release and transfer register (PRTR) will be integrated with the European PRTR in two years’ time, allowing the exchange of up to date, verified data and the synchronization of environmental policy.
“Ukraine’s dedication to environmental protection amid the devastation of the ongoing war sends a powerful message to the world that sustainable development cannot wait, and must underpin recovery efforts. UNECE welcomes the establishment of Ukraine’s National Pollutant Release and Transfer Register, putting into action the commitment to upholding the public’s rights to shape the environment as enshrined in the UNECE Aarhus Convention and its Protocol on PRTRs”, stated UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova.
Following Ukraine’s accession to the Industrial Accidents Convention in 2022, the country is now party to all UNECE Environmental Conventions and a number of their Protocols, which cover air pollution, clean and shared waters, industrial safety, environmental assessment and public participation. These proven tools can help Ukraine and other affected countries to mitigate the environmental impacts of the war and support sustainable recovery efforts. This will be further complemented by the work of an interagency group convened by UNECE to coordinate assessment of environmental damage of the war.
The Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers, also known as the “Kyiv Protocol” after its place of adoption 20 years ago, entered into force in 2009. It is the only legally binding international instrument of its kind in this area.
PRTRs are systems that facilitate pollution and waste-related data collection, including for example greenhouse gas emissions, from industrial sites and other sources, and make this information available to all in a user-friendly way. By regulating information on emissions data and by introducing the obligation to make this publicly accessible, the Protocol puts pressure on companies to clean up their operations, or risk facing scrutiny and criticism from the public, civil society, governments, investors and partners.
All UN Member States can join the Protocol, including those which have not ratified the Aarhus Convention and those which are not members of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. It is by design an 'open' global treaty.
Ukraine’s PRTR will make it easier to monitor greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants across the country and over time. This will serve as a basis to set priorities to reduce and eliminate harmful emissions, and to analyse reductions in practice. In particular, it will support targeted decision making to prevent and reduce industrial pollution, and contribute to the circular economy.
The establishment of the National PRTR follows Ukraine’s adoption of the Law on the National Pollutant Release and Transfer Register on 20 September 2022.